Western Sydney could bid for the 2026 or 2030 Commonwealth Games.
At the ‘Out There Summit’ hosted by community advocacy group the Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue, chairman Christopher Brown said a Commonwealth Games bid would be hugely beneficial to the region in a variety of ways.
“We’re thinking about big ideas for western Sydney and this is ultimate one to build a reputation,” he said.
“There is such a proud legacy of sporting heroes with Westfield Sports High and St Greg’s, you name it. Cumberland, where I went, is the school of the great Ray Price.
“There has been a great sporting tradition and we effectively hosted the Olympics before, just in Sydney’s name, so what a great shortcut to drive Sydney’s economy and our sporting tradition.”
He told the summit western Sydney has 90 per cent of the venues already built for a Commonwealth Games following the 2000 Olympic Games.
The proposal would go up against bids from London, England; Edmonton, Canada; Auckland, New Zealand; and Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea in 2026 and 11 regional Victorian cities in 2030.
With venues such as the new stadium at Parramatta, the regatta centre at Penrith, Blacktown Leisure Centre, Bankstown Velodrome and a $1.5 million beach proposed around a lagoon at Campbelltown, Mr Brown said it’s a serious bid for a “ready-made, low-cost, smart bid”, unlike regional Victoria where you would have to build everything.
He called for the government to do its due diligence and put forward a strong bid for the games.
“We’ll take our time and we need a business case and the government to build a proper business case,” he said.
“The government has to run it, not us, but this is the community and local government saying to the state government could you please have a look, let us know and help lead us in a bid.”
The plan had a positive reaction from both sides of state politics with both Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Opposition Leader Luke Foley in favour of the plan.
Ms Berejiklian, speaking at a $45 million land donation in Doonside on Friday morning, welcomed the proposal.
She said she would be meeting with “key leaders” to discuss the bid.
“Western Sydney is now the first choice for people to live and raise a family, the first choice for people to do business, and the first choice for people to actually have recreational enjoyment as well,” she said.
“I think it’s a wonderful opportunity for us to consider western Sydney being a primary host for a lot of events.
“We want to show off western Sydney to the rest of the world and this would be a good opportunity.”
Minister for Sport and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres also took questions on the proposal at the press event with the Premier.
Mr Foley, who attended the Out There Summit, encouraged the government to explore the viability of the bid.
“It could really be the catalyst of a revitalisation of the great river city town centres of Liverpool, Penrith and Campbelltown,” he said.
“I think Sydney showed with the Olympics that we know how to put on these types of events.
“In a decade from now, western Sydney will be home to 3 million residents. I think the capacity is there, the vision is there, so let’s explore the nuts and bolts of the bid.
“I’ve got no doubt that when you look at the sum total of the facilities across western Sydney, the region could pull off a stunningly successful Commonwealth Games.”